Imitations from a Transylvanian Hoard
In 2004 or 2005, a large (6000+) hoard of Republican denarii was found in Western Transylvania. This consisted almost entirely of official issues, ending with a few mint state pieces of Octavian from 37 BC. It also contained 19 imitations, which I was able to obtain. It's very revealing to compare these imitations with those from the Balkan Hoard. Although the findspot of that hoard is uncertain, I'm reliably informed it was unearthed substantially southeast of Transylvania, but within ancient Dacia. The Balkan Hoard was relatively rich in imitations, roughly 6% of the total; this new hoard, which I'll call the Transylvania Hoard, contained only a handful, roughly .03% in all. I was gratified to find some die links and matches to coins I've obtained singly, but there was no overlap at all between the imitations in the two hoards. This is very telling. The imitations evidently did circulate, since some are substantially worn, but the lack of any overlap seems to demonstrate that the Dacian imitations didn't circulate very far from the place they were minted. This argues in favor of a multitude of local minting centers in Dacia, and against the notion that the imitations represent a sort of national coinage of a centralized Dacian state.
I've again continued the numbering within the overall Class A, Group II, Monetary Imitations section, but kept the Transylvanian Hoard as a distinct group. One coin, H5, is a hybrid struck from an obverse transfer die and a new reverse die. I've included it in the Class A, Group III section, and here as well. Another remarkably "barbarous" piece is a die match for AL8. I've maintained that numbering here for consistency, but its presence in this hoard, among "normal" imitations, indicates that this coin is in no fundamental sense "anomalous". As I've mentioned elsewhere, the anomalous categories are becoming increasingly problematic, and may eventually need to be eliminated.
M128. Various prototypes, after 136 BC; earliest reverse cf. Cr-238/1, 3.04g. Utterly "barbarous" obverse, perhaps not even Roma; stylized reverse, with only legend W (remnant of ROMA, upside down?)
M129. Various prototypes, after 115 BC; 4.04g. Remarkably "barbarous" obverse; stylized, somewhat crude reverse, with blundered, meaningless legend. The suggested date is based on the strong resemblance between the obverse of this coin and AL2, surely the products of the same hand.
M132. Obverse type of Mn. Fonteius, uncertain reverse prototype, after 85 BC; cf. Cr-353/1c (O), 3.64g. Somewhat stylized obverse, with accurate legend; "barbarous" reverse of vigorous style, with blundered, meaningless legend. The reverse evidently depicts Hercules, but no possible prototype is without problems. Cr-494/38 is perhaps most likely, but that coin, dating from 42 BC, seems too late, since the hoard terminates in 37 BC. Might this reverse actually derive from a Thasos tetradrachm?
M131. Types of L. Calpurnius Piso Frugi, after 90 BC; cf. Cr-340/1, 3.33g. Stylized, attractive obverse; somewhat stylized reverse; slightly blundered, essentially correct reverse legend.
M133. Obverse type of Mn. Fonteius, reverse type of M. Furius Philus, after 85 BC; cf. Cr-353/1 (O) and 281/1 (R), 3.96g. Both sides stylized; no obverse legend; blundered, recognizable reverse legend.
M134. Types of Q. Antonius Balbus, after 83 BC; cf. Cr-364/1d, 4.62g. Both sides fairly close copies; blundered, meaningless reverse legend. Same obverse die as M34. Would be classified as Copy if legend were more accurate.
M135. Obverse type of C. or M. Aburius Geminus, reverse type of Q. Antonius Balbus, after 83 BC; cf. Cr-244/1 or 250/1 (O) and 364/1 (R), 3.74g. Both sides stylized, with blundered, recognizable legends.
M130. Obverse type of P. Sulpicius Galba, reverse type of T. Minucius Augurinus (?), after 108 BC; cf. Cr-312/1 (O) and 243/1 (R), 3.28g, serrate. Attractive "barbarous" obverse, with jugate Dei Penates seeming to share a single head; stylized reverse; blundered, meaningless reverse legend.